National Trails Day set for Saturday

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By Special to the Monitor

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Trails Working group and the Volunteer Task Force will sponsor the 11th National Trails Day volunteer work party Saturday.

This year’s project will focus on the reconstruction of a historic switchback on the Deadman’s Trail in Los Alamos Canyon.

The trail was named by students at the Los Alamos Ranch School after homesteader Antonio Sanchez was killed by a rockfall while building the trail. The rockwork in need of repair has served as part of this important canyon crossing since the trail was built more than 80 years ago.

“Many of us enjoy the trails around Los Alamos, but few realize the hours of work required to maintain the trail system,” said Craig Martin, Los Alamos County Open Space specialist. “Most of the work is done by volunteers. If every trail user gave four hours per year to trail maintenance work, the community trail network would be in a much better condition.”

Volunteers should meet at the upper parking area at the Department of Energy Headquarters off Trinity Drive just east of the Los Alamos Medical Center at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Participants should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes. Bring plenty of water, snacks and lunch, and work gloves. Tools will be provided. Work will conclude around 1 p.m. All volunteers, regardless of experience, are encouraged to attend.

The Trails Working Group consists of LANL resource and operations specialists, and representatives from Los Alamos County, Bandelier National Monument, the Forest Service, and nearby Pueblos. The Working Group was established as part of the Trails Management Program in 2003, to address trails issues through improved and more active stewardship of LANL’s trails.

The Volunteer Task Force coordinates projects with an emphasis on environmental stewardship and has logged more than 80,000 volunteer hours since 2000.

For information, contact Martin at 663-1776 or cmartin@losalamos.com.